A2 FILM STUDIES
FM4 section B
POPULAR CINEMA & EMOTIONAL RESPONSE
CONSTRUCTING EMOTIONAL RESPONSES TO POPULAR FILM -
the relationship between spectator and character
One of the pleasures we find in film, and one which can greatly affect our emotional response to a film, is the relationship constructed between the spectator and the characters in the film. In order to reflect on the popularity of THE DARK KNIGHT, we need to
analyse the ways in which the spectator is encouraged to develop a relationship with the characters and to subsequently negotiate a reading and emotional response to the film as a result
. The 3 different ways that a spectator is seen to develop a relationship with a character is through:
If we accept that THE DARK KNIGHT could be an allegory for the threat of terrorism and ideological power to the West, then we can assume that Batman will be the Hero and will be constructed in a way to invite us to recognise him as a hero, to align ourselves with him in the film and to feel allegiance with his ideological values.
However, the Joker’s
performance is also seen to be crucial in developing a relationship with the spectator to ensure that we recognise him as a villain and therefore reject his ideological values as a criminal.
1. RECOGNITION -
Do we recognise the character? Are they credible? Does the use of a star persona further develop the recognition? How does the performance or use of costume & props help to further aid recognition?
Is there a process of identification where we align ourselves with the character’s
experience, morals, values and behaviour? How does the use of camera work, editing, mes and sound help to align us with the character? Are we positioned with them (ovs and pov shots)? Is a bond created with the character?
Do we feel a loyalty to the characters ideological views and needs that will either reflect or are different to our own in the real world? How is the narrative structure used to reinforce this? From
whose point of view do we experience the film’s plot? How does this affect our allegiance with the characters?